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5.18.17, Guest Blogger: Spaulding Outpatient Center, Malden

Oh My Aching Back!  Tips For Low Back Pain Prevention

Low back pain affects about 80% of people in their lifetime.  Rather than just accepting back pain as a fact of life, there are some things that you can do to help prevent this type of pain. Here is a list of 7 things that may prevent needless pain and suffering from a back injury.  As the old proverb goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

  1. Exercise. It is important to get regular exercise at least 2-3x/week. Any type of regular exercise can help. Whether you like to walk, run, spin, lift weights, participate in exercise classes, or do other types of work outs, doing any activity is beneficial.  Staying active  is crucial not only in preventing low back pain, but treating low back pain as well.
  2. Maintain a proper weight. Not only can excess weight put extra stress on your spine, but it can also increase inflammation throughout the body which can cause back pain.
  3. Eat a healthy diet. Not only will this allow you to lose weight or maintain proper body weight, but a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in processed meats, red meat, and junk foods will decrease inflammation.
  4. Quit smoking. Smoking can not only cause or worsen spine arthritis, but it also decreases blood supply to the spine which can impair healing.
  5. Pay attention to your posture. When sitting, it is best to have a chair with good back support and stand up every 30-60 minutes. Avoid being in any static position for too long.
  6. Decrease stress. People handle stress in different ways.  Whether you enjoy yoga, biofeedback, meditation, deep breathing, tai chi, or regular exercise, finding ways to decrease daily stress is vital for healthy living and preventing pain.
  7. Be careful with heavy lifting. Use your legs and bend at the knees and hips, not the spine to protect your low back. Try not to twist your back. Don’t forget to take rest breaks!

If all else fails and you develop low back pain, don’t despair.  Call Spaulding Outpatient Center in Malden (617-952-6420) and schedule an appointment with any of our highly skilled physical therapists to see if we can help.

Mark Lueck, PT, DPT, OCS